From Review to Reality: The search for a credible energy policy

When Labour came to power in 1997, energy was not a priority and Labour’s first two energy White Papers – Energy Sources in 1998 and Our Energy Future in 2003 – failed to provide an enduring energy policy framework. By 2005, performance was moving in the wrong direction for each of the four main policy objectives: carbon dioxide emissions were rising, not falling; security of supply had so deteriorated that the prospect of actual power cuts was a serious possibility for the coming winter; competitiveness was declining; and fuel poverty was rising.

The 2006 Energy Review represents a third attempt to create a credible energy policy that provides a framework within which the private sector can deliver these public policy objectives. This paper provides a critique of the government’s 2006 Energy Review, focusing on the continuing gaps between the current position as represented by the Review and the requirements of a credible energy policy.

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